LONDON — An online sports listing startup has raised £1 million from a raft to tech, banking, and sporting figures to build the “Airbnb of endurance events” like triathlon and marathon.
Let’s Do This, founded 13 months ago, secured the seed funding in June but it has not yet been publically disclosed. The London-based startup raised money from:
- Mike Miller: The CEO of the World Olympians Association and the former head of BBC Sport and sport at Channel 4;
- Brian Schuring: The founder of US venture capital fund Rubicon and founder of London workout startup Heartcore Fitness;
- Jonathan Goodwin: The cofounder of Founders Forum, head of Lepe Partners, and the man called “one of London’s best-connected media dealmakers.”
- Richard Oldfield: The founder of $US4 billion wealth manager Oldfield Partners.
- Peter Yunghanns: A renown Australian activist investor who is a patron of polo in Australia.
- Paddy Dear: The cofounder of UK hedge fund Polygon.
Let’s Do This was founded by two recent Cambridge graduates — Sam Browne and Alex Rose — and Neil Locke, the former head of technology at MoneySupermarket.com. The startup is building a listings platform that lets people find endurance sports events — running, cycling, and swimming competitions covering distances anywhere from 1km to 800kms.
CEO Browne, 25, says: “There are now about 1.5 million endurance races globally that exist in a massively disorganised and fragmented mess. Let’s Do This is here to organise all these events into one comparison site and allow, through extensive personalisation, athletes to find their perfect race.”
Browne told Business Insider that the company already has 35,000 regularly returning users and is growing at a rate of 150% each month. Let’s Do This currently has 15,000 races on its platform and is adding a further 30,000 this month alone.
The global endurance sports market is estimated to be worth $US13 billion and the growing popularity of fitness and sport has helped propel companies like Under Armour and Lululemon, and events like Iron Man and Tough Mudder, to success in recent years.
Browne is a fitness fan himself — he’s run eight ultra marathons, which are distances over 26.2 miles — and had the idea for Let’s Do This after being frustrated trying to find events to enter.
“We think endurance athletes are massively underserved,” Browne says. “Let’s Do This will make it as easy and enjoyable to book your next race as Airbnb does to find your accommodation.”
‘Most of the ideas in our product roadmap came while we were out riding’
To that end, Browne says that “having completed a marathon or equivalent is a basic requirement to work here.”
“One of our devs, Caroline, was the only person not to have raced to a pretty high level before joining,” he told Business Insider. “Six months in she’s now completed a triathlon, a marathon, and is gearing up to race the Saltmarsh 75, which is a fairly savage 75-mile trail ultra marathon.”
Browne is so committed to this sporting ethos that he sent a team member to India to go running with the startup’s data enrichment team out there. Let’s Do This also promised its UK team a trip to watch the Tour de France if they could hit their targets.
“We did a couple of especially intense sprints leading up to it with that as a carrot at the end,” Browne says. “We spent a day watching the Tour de France, and then mixed workshops in-between road biking, mountain biking, swimming, and trail running. Most of the ideas in our product roadmap came while we were out riding.”
75% of Let’s Do This’ current events are running-based but the startup hopes to branch out to more events and sports as it grows.
The startup also plans to pitch tailored events to athletes on the platform. Around 30% of current users connect their Strava accounts — a sports tracking app — to Let’s Do This, which allows the company to tailor listings based on their speed, past races, and other data.
Despite its early stage, Let’s Do This has already caught the attention of companies like Adidas and Rapha, Browne says, and is working with both on promotional activity.